Novalja has a long, vivid and interesting history, evidence of which you can find in numerous archaeological locations in the town and its surroundings. Three early Christian basilicas from the 4th and 5th century take a special place among them and you can see the remains of a floor mosaic of one of them inside the gothic church of Our Lady of Rosemary in the town centre.
Many pieces of church furniture and other items are preserved in the archaeological collection of Stomorica. Reliquary, found near one of the basilicas, is of great value and you can see it in the Archaeological museum in Zadar. Novalja is also a place where one of the oldest illustrations of Our Lady was found with the inscription: Maria on the east Adriatic coast.
From the archaeological aspect the area around Caska is very interesting and lately researches of the Roman settlement Cissa have been intensified. According to a legend, this settlement was destroyed in the 4th century earthquake.
The greatest value and curiosity represents a simple antique water supply system from the 1st century, chiselled from live stone and about 1.2 km long, 70 cm wide and 40 m high with 9 overhead openings. That unique roman aqueduct, popularly called Talian’s hole, supplied Novalja with water from Navalja’s fields. Entrance in the water supply system is inside of the Town museum which also preserves a part of Navalja’s cultural and ethnological heritage.
From the treasury of folk treasure we single out a domestic dance- naški, which is performed in colourful folk costumes to the bellows music.
People also treasure the traditional folk singing in two voices- nakanat, which is also performed at a festival. Harmony- singing groups Navalia (men’s group) and Murtulice (women’s group) cherish the original Dalmatian harmony- singing tradition. Liturgical singing is also of great importance, whose richness comes to its fullest at religious ceremonies of the Holly Week (from Palm Sunday to Easter).
(SOURCE: tz novalja)